RAJASTHAN: In a sad state of affairs, four national level Judo players hailing from Rajasthan have been forced to work as labourers due to financial crisis and lack of government assistance.
Two among them, Harjinder Singh and Gurvinder Singh, are gold medalists at national judo championships. The others too have displayed their skills at various high level events.
Harjinder, a resident of Sri Ganganagar city, had to take up such work because he is burdened with taking care of his family, which also includes two physically challenged brothers.
"We are poor. It becomes difficult to even secure ration. Our parents are fed up and want us to work. I started working so I can contribute something. I have two brothers who are physically challenged, hence the responsibility is more. But I still go for practice and work at the same time," he said.
Meanwhile, Gurvinder appealed to the government to come to their help to take them out of their financial troubles.
"These people, one of them won a bronze medal at the national championship; the people standing behind me are also national players. I too am a gold medalist. But now we are forced to work as labourers. The financial situation in our homes is not good. We appeal to the government to help us," Gurvinder said.
Speaking up for them, former marathon runner Sunita Godara said the social organisations should take up the causes of sportspersons, who are often abandoned after they have won laurels for the country.
"NGO (Non Governmental Organisations), CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) organisations, they should work for these kind of sports people. Those who have come up to the national level with their own efforts and after that, going further for jobs or going for international (tournaments)… there should be some support system for them, which the government is not providing," Godara said in New Delhi.
Despite their achievements, these four national level athletes have been left in poverty without any assistance from the administration.